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What is AMP? Why do we need it?

AMP is short for adenosine monophosphate. It's a substance formed by the body during certain metabolic processes, and is found within the bodies of cells. It is related to adenosine, a molecule that affects a person's heartbeat.

Although the exact purpose of AMP remains unclear, some studies suggest that it may relieve pain associated with shingles (research suggests that people with shingles may have low levels of AMP in the blood). A study conducted in the mid-1980s found that AMP injections relieved the pain associated with shingles more quickly than a placebo, and also helps future skin lesions from appearing. Another study showed that AMP could treat a skin condition that causes individuals to become extremely sensitive to light.

How much AMP should I take?

Because AMP is created normally by the body, the exact amount to be taken on a daily basis remains unknown. The photosensitivity study mentioned above used between 160 and 200 milligrams of AMP per day, while research regarding AMP and shingles has used a specially formulated gel. People with herpes simplex or herpes zoster may have low levels of AMP, but the exact cause and significance has yet to be established.

What forms of AMP are available?

AMP is created by the body during certain metabolic processes. It is also available as a supplement, but can be rather difficult to obtain.

What can happen if I take too much AMP? Are there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I take?

Although studies of AMP have not reported any side-effects, some scientists believe that supplementing with large doses of AMP may result in increased levels of adenosine, which may interfere with the body's immune system. In addition, there is evidence that intravenous injections of AMP could alter the heart's rhythm. As such, injections of AMP should be performed only by a licensed physician.

As of this writing, there are no well-known drug interactions associated with AMP. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking AMP or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.


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  • Camaiti A, Del Rosso A, Morettini A, et al. Efficacy and safety of adenosine in diagnosis and treatment of regular tachycardia in the elderly. Coron Artery Dis 1998;9:591-6.
  • Gaby AR, Wright JV. Nutritional Therapy in Medical Practice. Proceedings from Nutritional Therapy in Medical Practice Conference, Seattle, WA, Oct. 25-28, 1996.
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  • Sklar SH, Blue WT, Alexander EJ, et al. Herpes zoster. The treatment and prevention of neuralgia with adenosine monophosphate. JAMA 1985;253:1427-30.
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